Illinois governor signs school funding overhaul

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CHICAGO (AP) -- The Latest on Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signing a new school funding plan into law (all times local):
3:35 p.m.
A wide-reaching overhaul of the way Illinois funds schools has been signed into law.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the measure Thursday at a Chicago school. He says it's a historic day that will bring "more equality, more fairness and better opportunity" to students across Illinois.

The Legislature approved the measure this week, after years of trying to fix what's considered the nation's most inequitable school funding system. It allows state aid to be sent to more than 800 schools for the first time this academic year.

The plan will begin to eliminate large disparities between wealthy and rich districts. It also creates a new $75 million tax credit for people and companies that donated to private school scholarships and gives districts more flexibility on state mandates.
2:45 a.m.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is set to sign legislation that will change the way the state funds schools.

Rauner says the plan he'll sign Thursday will ensure every child "gets a chance at an excellent education regardless of their parents' income" or where they live.

The long-sought deal gives districts more flexibility on state mandates, allows residents in well-funded districts to try to reduce their property taxes and creates a new tax credit for donations to private school scholarships.

It also provides about $430 million in new funding to Chicago Public Schools. That's roughly $150 million more than the amount Rauner stripped from an earlier plan and railed against as a "bailout."

The Republican says the measure includes "many of the goals I recommended."